Amazon wants to challenge CarPlay and Android Auto

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Connect the Amazon Echo Dot to your existing speaker system, and you bingo! -- your speakers just got smarts.
Amazon wants to move Alexa from the home into our cars.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Amazon is trying to move in on Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto by convincing carmakers to bake in Alexa as an in-car infotainment technology.

According to a new report, Amazon is scaling up its Echo Auto ambitions. It has already convinced BMW and Audi to adopt the tech. It is now supposedly trying to get other automakers to sign up as well.

Apple sued for alleged lack of transparency over iCloud data

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iCloud
Apple isn't completely clear about where your data ends up.
Photo: Apple

A class-action lawsuit filed this week takes aim at Apple for storing some iCloud data on third-party servers.

The company is accused of breaching consumer trust to sell iCloud subscriptions. It states iCloud data will be “stored by Apple,” but offloads some of it to Amazon and other companies.

Foxconn takes heat for using teens to build Amazon devices

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Amazon Echo
Foxconn has another problem with underage workers.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Frequent Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn recruited kids as young as 16 to work on its production lines, leaked documents show. The company reportedly pushed the teenagers to work nights and overtime as part of the job.

On this occasion, however, Apple isn’t the company under fire. The recruits (classed as “interns”) were working on the Amazon production line. They were building devices like the Echo smart speakers.

Apple’s big spend on Intel modems is pocket change in Silicon Valley [Opinion]

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Apple just snapped up Intel's modem business for $1 billion.
Apple just snapped up Intel's modem business for $1 billion.
Photo: Mathieu Turle/Unsplash CC

The $1 billion Apple spent on Intel’s modem business is the second-largest acquisition in the company’s 42-year history.

Still, while a huge amount of money by most normal standards, rival tech giants regularly dwarf Apple’s big spend on Intel. For a variety of reasons, Apple just doesn’t roll that way.

U.S. launches huge antitrust investigation into major tech companies

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Blind survey
Are Apple and other tech companies too big?
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Stock prices of the major U.S. stock companies all took a tumble in after-hours trading today after the U.S. Justice Department revealed that it is launching a broad antitrust investigation into tech companies.

The department has not said which companies will be investigated specifically but it’s pretty likely that Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook will be swept up in the case.

HomePod is finally on its way to Japan

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HomePod market share
It will be on sale “this summer.”
Photo: Apple

Apple is gearing up to launch HomePod in Japan — more than two years after the device got its first unveiling.

Smart speaker shoppers will be able to pick one up in the coming weeks for 32,800 yen (approx. $301). HomePod will then be available in a total of 11 countries.